I know we’re winding down the semester and that you probably have even more papers to write and/or exams to take, but I hope you’ll take time to read these two short pieces about where race relations are at the present.
This one is more general and remarks upon the supposed greater tolerance for difference among “millenians,” the current generation coming of age:
This one really got my blood boiling. It’s a reaction to a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Ed disparaging Black Studies as a discipline. The title ought to give you a clue:
I have thoroughly enjoyed this semester with all of you. I’m happy to be g0ing out on a very high note, having taught my favorite class ever Best of luck to all of you! I hope to hear great things from you.
I found a really cool interview that Francois Bondy did with James Baldwin. Here’s a portion that didn’t fit into my paper, but I thought was really great.
FB: … You have written that the Americans are not behind Europeans but rather in advance, because they had to face the real problem, while we Europeans often feel that we have solutions just because we don’t have that problem. Do you still think Americans are more advaced in this regard?
JB: I think that it is a great opportunity that America has right now–the trouble is our oppourtunity. What I was trying to suggest in that piece was that Americans, becausde they have lived with it for so long, know more abou tthe color problem than any European nation, because Europe never had its slaves on the mainland. But the price for waht one l might hope to call the American advantage would be an investigation of its own history, which America has never been willing to do. If we could tell the truth about what happened to Indians, what happened to the black man in America, and get rid of all those terifying myths which are all over TV, and books and textbooks; if we could tell the truth about what our real realationship was to the Mexiacans, for example, then we could begin to use this tremendous potential, and it might begin to save the world.
Wowza. Baldwin pretty much tells it like it is. I love it. I completely agree. Until we are able to face our history for what it was and stop covering the icky parts that we don’t like to admit to, growth won’t really be able to happen. I remember reading this same kind of idea in Malcolm X, too. He had thoughts about the origin of our country and how we started out as pillagers. We took this land by force, and force is what we based our existence on. This isn’t the pretty side of the U.S., however we can’t refuse to see the facts.
I have thoroughly enjoy being apart of this class. I am glad that I was able to take an African American Lit class. Though I am African American, or black, there are still aspect of history that I did not know about and this class brought them to light. I love how discussion was encouraged alot and we were free to voice our opinions and thoughts as we wished. We definitely had the right professor teaching this particular class. You new students, as well as your new school will be lucky to have you on their campus.